Wednesday, December 07, 2016
A Death In The Family
I had to go to Garfield Park today to attend an instructor's training. I was a little pissed because I wasn't told about it until yesterday. The day was planning to be a long, slow one. The training wasn't as bad and unproductive like the others I had attended recently. During a brief break, I decided to go up to Garfield's boxing gym to say hello to George.
George was busy watching two of his fighters sparring, so I waved to him across the ring. "I just stopped in to say hi," I told George. I looked up at the ceiling there was a robe hanging from it that had belonged to Ed Brown, a young man who had trained at Garfield. Everyone didn't know Ed personally, but most knew about him. He was on his way up, an undefeated contender who was scheduled to have a fight on the Showtime network in a few weeks. Unfortunately, we'll never know what heights the young man could have reached in his boxing career. Someone rolled up next to the car that Ed and his sister were sitting in and opened fire. His sister survived. Her brother didn't.
A co-worker at LaFollette made a comment last night: "Well, the guy was gang-banging." We don't know that for sure. Yes, it's common knowledge that Ed Brown had been shot before, and survived those attempts on his life. His mom died in a tragic incident in a downtown nightclub over ten years ago. His dad has a jail record. Ed Brown had his own ups and downs. But the fact that he had dedicated himself to a sport and was coming up, told me that he was trying to change his circumstances.
I can't shake the feeling that the young man's murder may have been motivated by jealousy. I grew up in the same area he did, and I've seen people take beat downs from others who were angry that someone appeared to have a little more extra than they. Many of the fights I was in while in grade school were instigated by kids who wanted to bring down the girl who had a higher reading score than most of the other students. I'm too familiar with that attitude. I was just thinking the other day that most people miss out on blessings because they are too busy complaining about the blessings that others have received. However, most limit their "playa hating" to snide remarks and pulling mean pranks. Then you have those who believe that others whom they believe won a golden ticket to something better should never be able to cash it in for the prize.
I just shake my head at it all.